Hi y’all! It’s Lauren from Bless’er House, and I’m so excited to be back sharing another DIY to perk up your basic builder grade. My inbox has already been flooding with emails begging me to spill the details on this one!
In December, I shared my statement-making faux fireplace that completely transformed our living room. After the New Year, I devised a plan to bring another big statement-making feature into our home, only this time, in our bathroom.
I had seen these gorgeous industrial style factory window shower doors all over Pinterest recently, and I was instantly smitten for them. The only problem was those gorgeous doors were very much out of my price range and would require some demo work with professional installation.
So I figured out a way to make the factory window look on my existing builder grade shower door. The best part- I accomplished it for just under $60.
How to Make an Industrial Factory Window Shower Door
*I already had the tools and tape on hand since they’re usual staples in our workshop.
Time: 3 days (I managed it all on my own without any help from my husband, so it wasn’t strenuous. Just a good bit of time waiting on paint to dry.)
And, of course, you need a framed hinged shower door to start with.
Here is what my shower door looked like before:
Step 1. Start with a clean, dry shower. Get rid of as much soap scum as possible. A mixture of vinegar and dish soap can work wonders. We didn’t use our shower for a full 48 hours to make sure all moisture was gone. (I promise we showered for those two days, just not in this one. In case you’re worried about hygiene here.)
Step 2. Tape off everything with the plastic drop cloth and painter’s tape- the inside of the shower, the glass of the doors, the floor, the walls, anything but what you want painted. It will look like a crime scene in your bathroom for a while.
Step 3. Be sure to open windows, if you have any in the room, and use a painting respirator mask for safety.
Spray three thin, even coats of the black hammered spray paint on the inside and outside of the shower door frame. To prevent dripping, spray in a sweeping motion and keep your hand moving. The great thing about this spray paint is it has primer built in, so you can eliminate that extra step. You can use a spray primer beforehand if you choose, but it’s really not necessary.
I admit, that first coat was scary. I instantly thought, “Ohhh what have I done?!” It’ll get better. Hang in there.
Let each coat dry to the touch before another (about an hour).
Step 4. Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry thoroughly.
Use a putty knife to score the edges of the painter’s tape before removing it and the plastic drop cloth. Do as I say not as I do because I ended up with this not-so-pretty result:
Scoring my tape would have prevented that problem, but I didn’t think about it until after I had pulled off all the tape. I was the guinea pig for you guys in this experiment.
If you run into any “oops” spots, I figured out a few tricks:
Tape your edge again on the door frame. Use a deep cardboard box as a shield to spray some paint onto an artist brush.
Brush the paint onto any problem areas.
Despite taping and overlapping my plastic drop cloths really well, I still ended up with a spot where the spray paint seeped underneath.
All it takes to remove it is a little nail polish remover.
Soak a cotton ball in the nail polish remover and wipe away the spray paint easily. Good as new!
I used nail polish remover for any messy places along the frame.
Q-Tips do the trick for removing with more precision to get a crisp, clean edge.
Even though I had to fix my mistakes, it turned out great!
Step 5. While the paint on the shower door frame was drying, I went to work on the grid pieces of the “factory window”.
I had measured the dimensions of the glass inserts on the shower door beforehand.
I cut the vertical pieces of the grid first using polystyrene moulding. I decided I wanted my “window panes” to be 5 across and 4 vertical, so I cut 3 lengths for the height of the glass on my door.
Polystyrene is the perfect material for this job because it is moisture-resistant, designed ideally for bathrooms, extremely lightweight, and costs about $2 per length.
Step 6. Spray paint the 3 cut moulding pieces with the hammered black. I did these in my garage.
Paint the backside of the pieces first so the front side will be the smoothest in case of any paint wrinkling on your drop cloth when flipped over. I did three coats on both sides for these as well.
Step 7. Here’s where I had to do a little math (which is not always easy for this former high school English teacher).
I had decided I wanted my shower door to be 5 panes across and 4 panes vertical. Since I needed 3 vertical sections on the left side door, I divided the width of the glass by 3. This told me how far apart the 2 moulding piece should be placed.
I did the same thing for the right side of the door (the side that opens) and divided it by 2, for placing 1 moulding piece.
I used a tape measure and a black permanent marker to mark where I needed to place the moulding pieces.
I used the black marker so it wouldn’t show later on the inside of the glass against the black moulding pieces.
If you make mistakes, just wipe away any permanent marker with nail polish remover.
To figure out how far apart to place the horizontal moulding pieces, I divided the shower door height by 4 and marked where to later place them.
Step 8. After the moulding pieces were fully dry from painting, I applied a line of the Loctite GO2 Glue to the backside. Only apply the glue one moulding piece at a time, not all at once.
This adhesive dries completely clear, is extremely strong, and is temperature and moisture resistant to make it durable against the humidity in a bathroom.
Step 9. Apply each moulding piece, one at a time. I had a minute or two to reposition the piece and make any adjustments. I used a level to double check that they were straight, pressed the piece against the glass, and held for a minute as it dried in place.
Step 10. Using the tape measure again, I measured the widths between the vertical sections to cut and paint 15 horizontal moulding pieces.
Step 11. I used the same process with the Loctite GO2 Glue for the horizontal pieces to place over my door markings. I used a small level again to double check them and adjust as needed before setting them in place.
(That level, by the way, is older than I am since it was handed down from my husband’s grandfather. It’s seen a lot of action, so it’s looking a bit shabby.)
Step 12. To seal any cracks behind the moulding pieces and prevent mold or mildew from settling between the polystyrene and the glass, I used clear latex caulk.
If you’ve never used this type of caulk before, don’t worry. It comes out white. I applied a line of the caulk on either side of the moulding strip and worked in sections.
Then used a caulk finishing tool to smooth it out. It was a messy process, but it gave me peace of mind to reinforce the moulding and seal out any moisture.
After the caulk was dry I had my dream shower door! We waited a full 24 hours after painting before using the shower again just to make sure everything set well. That first shower was a bit scary, but it held up 100% perfectly.
If you’re worried about its durability over time, I can tell you that we’ve been using this shower for a month now and we’ve had absolutely no problems. No chipping, no peeling, nothing but awesomeness!
Probably every time we have guests come over, we’ll totally weird people out and say, “Hey! Wanna come see our shower?” If they know us, they’ll understand. You can see our full rustic industrial bathroom makeover over on my blog.
What do you think? Are you tempted to try this DIY? If you try it out for yourself, I’d love to see pictures!
Hi y'all! I'm Lauren from Bless'erHouse. I'm a builder grade subdivision house owner who dreams up outside-of-the-box ways to create a rustic industrial cottage on a budget. Between chasing my toddler and sweet talking my hubby into helping me with yet another project, you can usually find me with a paint brush in one hand and a big ol' glass of sweet tea in the other.
What an incredible DIY!! I was looking at these types of doors online last week and as you’d mentioned, they’re way out of the budget! My master has hideous ivy wallpaper (I’ve been trying to strip, probably gonna have to replace sheet rock at this point) and a BRASS shower enclosure that I’ve been trying to decide whether to replace or attempt painting it. After seeing your shower door I may be brave and go for the spray paint. I also noticed in the picture a wall above the tub that has wood planks. Do you have a post on that too? I’ve been debating between wood planks or faux stone. Ultimately I want to gut the bathroom but I’m looking for affordable alternatives to “make-do” for a couple years.
Thanks for sharing!! Might be trying this in a couple weeks!
Hi Lisa! I’m so glad it could inspire you to make some budget-friendly changes! Here is my tutorial for my bathroom plank wall: https://www.blesserhouse.blogspot.com/2015/01/walking-plank-master-bathroom-progress.html It’s certainly cheaper than stone. Just make sure you give the wood a good coat or two of marine grade polyurethane on both sides to stand up to moisture. Hope that helps! 🙂
Amazing idea tanks!!!
Fantastic! I had figured out the spray paint part but couldn’t figure out how you had done the window pane look. Great idea and work!!
Did you apply the grid trim to the interior of the shower doors too? What does the glass look like from the inside?
I didn’t apply a grid to the interior because I wanted to keep that side easier to clean from soap scum. It’s hard to get a picture of the inside since it’s such a tight space. But because the adhesive is clear as well as the caulk, it looks good from the inside too. We just see the grids pressed against the glass from the inside.
This was such a great idea!
This is AMAZING! I’ve always loved this look (thanks to Pinterest) but had no idea how to go about it. What an affordable alternative!
Great project! I saw you used nail polish removerer on your shower pan. Just a word of caution, if the pan is fiber glass, nail polish will etch the surface. I found out the hard way on a fiber glass tub. But again, great project. Thanks for sharing.
Oh wow! That’s scary! Thankfully, mine was okay. Thanks for the tip.
Did you also paint the silver frame of the shower doors on the interior of the shower? I have the same doors and am contemplating doing this too!
Hi Heather! Yes, I painted the interior as well. I just didn’t get a picture of it since it’s such a tight spot to snap a photo. We use our shower every day, and still haven’t had any paint chipping or scratching off and it’s been 2 months. It’s been really durable so far.
Thank you so much!
When I first saw a pic of an industrial grid screen a few years ago I wished, wished, wished we had a shower screen I could attempt a DIY version on (we have a curved screen – urghhh) so it’s great to see yours instead! It turned out awesome.
Just one question, I struggle with the tediousness of prep so do you think it would have been easier to remove the screen, paint it, then re-install it? I know it might sound daunting, though it’s not a difficult DIY. Most screens are simply screwed and caulked in.
Thanks, Kristine! I probably could have removed the whole thing but I was afraid of completely messing it up. Plus, I didn’t have the arm muscle since my husband wasn’t around when I did it. (He doesn’t seem to bat an eye anymore when I do this kind of thing. Haha) I’m sure it could be removed though.
Thanks so much for this- I have been looking everywhere for an alternative to actually replacing my windows- looks fantastic, thanks very much!
Hi Lauren….. Absolutely love your shower door “re-do”.
The home we just purchased has full length shower door but they are the kind that both doors slide back & forth and have a bar mid-length (one on inside of the door and the other door has handle on outside)…..
I’m thinking your enhancement could be modified for them – however, there is a top & bottom frame/track to facilitate the sliding of each door….. that may chip the paint.
Any thoughts??? Thanks so much….
That’s definitely a bit trickier. I personally don’t think I would risk it on a sliding door because you’d be creating a lot of friction. And if there isn’t enough room between the two doors when they slide, the grid might be too thick.
You could get a similar but flat look by using black vinyl for the framing.They have marine grade that will withstand water and while it won’t have the dimension of the trim, it will still look good in my opinion.
LOVE THIS exactly what I wanted to do to mine (I have your exact shower!) How many coats did you spray total?
Thanks, Kelley! I did 3 thin coats of the spray paint. It’s held up really well even 6 months later.
This looks fabulous!! What does it look like from inside the shower? Can you see the glue? Is it hard to clean between the grids?
Thanks for the wonderful project,
Still holding up well? Looks great!
That looks awesome. I totally love it.
Is the spray paint still holding up?
How has it held up after a year later? Thanks so much for the inspiration?
I don’t want to burst your bubble, it looks great now; but I have seen shower door frames that have been painted and it doesn’t last. especially on and around the door pull. Not sure about the rest of the frame close to the glass where it is cleaned often.
Good luck, hope yours does better.
Now we are into 2017 and I am interested in doing this to my shower, is it still holding up?
Hi, is this the same spray? RUST-OLEUM UNIVERSAL BLACK HAMMERED EFFECT SPRAY PAINT 400 ML. It doesn’t say primer and paint, I can’t seem to find that version.
What does the inside look like? Can you see the glue marks from inside the shower?
Hi Amy! Lauren reports: “You really can’t see the liquid glue at all since it’s clear. It blends right in with the black grids on the other side.”